Students of Color in Public Policy and Women and Gender in Public Policy leaders stand in solidarity with Black lives

June 8, 2020

The Students of Color in Public Policy (SCPP) and Women and Gender in Public Policy (WGPP), two longstanding Ford School student organizations, have released statements of solidarity with the Black community and the movements for Black lives. We share them, unedited and unabridged, below. Learn more about Ford School student organizations »

A message from the chair of Students of Color in Public Policy (SCPP)

May 31, 2020

Dear friends and colleagues:

SCPP is an organization that advocates for positive change in BIPOC communities. Part of this work includes addressing systemic racism in the United States and the policies that directly affect Black Americans. 

Over the past week, our nation has been struck by the tragic death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis. We have also felt the pain of losing Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and Tony McDade in Florida. We have seen the weaponization of the police to endanger the lives of black men like Christian Cooper in New York City. This is but a fraction of the racial violence in this country that persists after centuries of oppressive and racist policies in the United States.

We condemn these and all acts of racism and police violence against the Black community.

We stand in solidarity with the black community and support demands for justice that make it undoubtedly clear that #BlackLivesMatter. 

We want to extend our support to you during this deeply distressing time. 

You are all in our thoughts.  

In solidarity, 

Baltazar Hernández
SCPP Chair

Options for Donations:

Petitions to Sign:


Black lives, and Breonna Taylor, matter—Women and Gender in Public Policy statement

June 5, 2020

Dear Ford community,

Black lives matter. We're reeling from this week--this legacy and history--and stand in solidarity with our black classmates, colleagues, faculty, and greater Michigan community members, with everyone demanding justice for George Floyd, and with all black people who face white supremacy, structural racism, and police brutality.

Today, Breonna Taylor should have turned 27. Instead, her name is added to a horrific list of black women brutalized by police who as of today have faced no consequences for her murder. We're taking the below actions in her memory, and invite you to join us:

The Women and Gender in Public Policy group is examining our organization's own positioning in a culture that privileges western and white feminisms which fail to center black and POC voices. Our executive board features two women of color out of six members, and our membership is largely white. We do not have any black women, or black men, on our executive board. That's a problem. We know that to embody our organization's commitments to the goals of intersectional and pro-black feminisms, we have work to do. In the 2020-2021 school year and beyond, we commit to:

  • Developing black- and women of color-focused programming that features black and WOC speakers, alumnae, and work from across the Ford School and the Michigan community
  • Promoting and collaborating with other organizations on student- and university-led events and programming that center black and POC experiences
  • Creating opportunities for students of color to build professional relationships with POC alumni
  • Recruiting a more diverse membership and executive board base, including POC, international, LGBTQ+, nonbinary, and trans students. We recognize this means making WGPP's work and mission much more reflective of students' diverse experiences and interests.

Black women and women of color are, and always have been, on the frontlines of advancing social justice in this country. This work is bone-exhausting. It is emotionally and physically demanding to the point of literal physical harm. It is unpaid. It is not promotable in conventional work paradigms. It is balanced with caretaking duties, and emotional labor duties, and community duties, and, and, and. We celebrate women who challenge, protest, agitate, and collaborate to dismantle racist, anti-black, and patriarchal systems, and we share in the rage that the work needs to be done at all, by the very women who experience the greatest injustices within these systems. 

So we invite you to celebrate these disruptors, too, and to use the below resources as you see fit. We especially invite our white peers to take on the work of educating yourself and confronting racist systems.

Black Lives Matter and Anti Police Brutality Resources:

Pro-Black and Intersectional Feminisms Resources:

Linked here are additional books, movies, tv shows, documentaries, and podcast resources shared from the University of Michigan HeForShe chapter.

In solidarity,

Karolina Ramos, Yaya Sun, and Clary Baudraz
Executive Board Members, Women and Gender in Public Policy